Thursday, October 27, 2011

In and Out

Nine months in:

Nine months out:

It was cold, snowy and dark then (at four in the morning on January 27); it's cold, snowy and dark now. But that's about the only thing that's the same! Dot is growing so fast. Sometimes I just want to shrink-wrap her and keep her this size forever, but I guess half the fun is the in seeing her learn and grow and change.

This month Dot's learned how to wave and clap and (kind of) give kisses. She learned how to pull herself up to standing in her crib this morning and then cried with sheer, genuine terror because she didn't know how to get down again. She spontaneously plays peekaboo if you hand her a blanket, and she has the most delicious giggle.

Her favorite toy right now is probably a hairbrush (though she'd rather have my cellphone, if I'd let her play with it) and sometimes she'll even try to brush my hair with it. Her favorite place to be when she's awake is either in her stroller on a walk or under the bed/table/chairs. I made a tunnel for her out of daiper boxes and she has a good time crawling through it.

We'll go to the doctor's next week for the official stats, but my guess is that she's still tall for her age -- she's wearing 12 month clothes for the most part -- with just enough chub to have fantastically pinchable cheeks.

And she makes me feel like this:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall Colors

I like to take my camera out on walks with Dot, and play at being a photographer.

Isn't digital photography great? If I had to buy the film and pay to develop each shot I took, I'd spend a lot less time taking pictures of trees. But since I can delete every shot that isn't framed right or doesn't have good lighting, I have fun and snap away.

I recently read Maphead by Ken Jennings, and in one of the chapters he writes about "topophilia" or love of place, and about how a particular landscape or place can have intense emotional resonance for a person. I'm a transplant to New York, and I like to grouse about the taxes and the winters ad infinitum, but every fall I'm glad to be here. I just love the changing colors and the beautiful landscape of a deciduous forest in the fall. It's part of my emotional landscape, and I'd be a little sad to live with any other kind of scenery.

(Of course, in Virginia you have beautiful leaves AND it's ten degrees warmer... but I'll take what I can get.)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Twenty Nine!

I turned 29 yesterday. I can see why 29 is the age that people continue to claim to be for the rest of their lives -- this is a good time of life! I feel grown up (mostly) but not old, settled but still flexible, still like a beginner at parenthood but not a novice anymore. Of course, I'm also actually really looking forward to 30. It will feel so much more like I'm officially grown up.

In any case, I had a great birthday. It was the ward chili cook-off, and Dot obligingly took a late nap so as to avoid a meltdown from pushing her bedtime back two hours. I submitted chili, but didn't win -- I should have informed all the judges that it was my birthday! But it was a huge batch and got almost entirely eaten, so I feel good about my submission, all the same. We had a great time. It felt so daring to be out of the house past seven. :)

For my birthday, I also ate a METRIC TON of sugar, mostly in the form of chocolate, because I've decided I'm giving up anything with added sugar between now and Thanksgiving. (But I'm not giving up carbs, or things that are BASICALLY just sugar, like honeycrisp apples. Just sugar.) I lost all the baby weight about two months ago, but I've recently started seeing the scale creep back up as Dot's starting eating more solid food and has cut down on milk. And with Halloween coming up, I know that if I don't cut myself off at the pass, it'll only get worse. Besides, how much BETTER will all that pie taste if it's the first dessert I've had in weeks?

I've found that I can have great discipline in refusing to buy or make junk food, but once it's in the house I will devour all of it, immediately. So poor Ben will be kind of going on this sugar fast with me, but he doesn't mind -- he's more of a salt guy, anyway. I suspect Dot will miss the vicarious chocolate. (She was kind of hyper yesterday, and of course looking back I can connect the dots and realize why.) But she'll get over it, I'm sure.

(I made Ben take some official birthday pictures before the day was over. Yay, 29!)